Loreena shares some good tips on time management. Personally, I don't think you should get up at 4:30 am, but if that works for you GREAT! Certainly the first point she makes is a good one - Start the night before. Anyway, she provides some good points and excellent examples.
Sometimes as entrepreneurs and leaders, we wish we had more time on our hands for disposal. Perhaps more can be accomplished that way. However, like everyone else, we are given 24 hours a day to manage. I do feel that with intentional planning, that we will get more out of our day. Many of you say that there's not enough time to put out 10 posts per week and read 10 good posts to comment on, here are some tips I practice in my life:
(1) Start your day the night before
Always your tomorrow the night before. This will give you a head start and know exactly how your day will look like - besides the fires in store for you. If you had quick emails to send out, do them. If you have quick searches for clients, do them. Never go to bed without accomplish little tasks that will only take a few minutes to do.
(2) Work when others are sleeping
I'm not a night owl but I do get up early. My day starts at 4:30 or 5am. 2 hours before my family gets up. Things are quiet and alot of tasks are accomplished at that time. I always practice "the ball is better on your court than mine". By that, I always get tasks for others or email instructions out at 5am before the person gets up. That way, I have everything they need to take care on the transaction in their hands, not mine. I also learnt to get to people before they ask for it. 5am is a great time to get these status updates sent out. More often that not, these practices have left me feeling on top of my world and others know that I'm on top of things.
Many people have to sleep 8-10 hours a day. If you learn to sleep 2 hours less, you will get ALOT more done if you choose the right time to accomplish it. My optimum sleep hours are 5 - 6 at best. Over that, I feel lethargic and want to sleep/ rest more. I feel my body runs on momentum. "A body at rest, tends to stay at rest".
It is also this time of the day that I get 1 post out, and usually before most people drink their first coffee, I have my 10 comments made on feature posts and subscriptions.
(3) Index Cards are my best friends
I always write a list - the night before on the tasks I need to accomplish tomorrow. I am a visual person. I need to see it in front of me. Better yet, I have a white board in my office. I lay out my Long Term goals, then Monthly goals - things I want to achieve that doesn't have to be accomplish "today". But they are always there in front of me.
I feel good when I check off my to-do lists on my index cards. The Dollar Store (if you have them near you) sells them very inexpensively. If I didn't get my index cards written out (the night before), I feel unrest at bedtime. I caught myself getting up at midnight just to write them down when I havent done so before I go to bed.
(4) Business/ Marketing & Financial Plan
It's the time of the year for me to write out my marketing plans and its financial allocation for them. When I write this out, I break it down in 4 quarters. With this, my mind knows that I play ALL 4 Quarters. In the past, when I just write this down as a general marketing plan for the year, I didn't have checks and balances to hold my accountable to see what needs to be accomplish by when. So, I do have a "General" overview/ Goals I plan to accomplish for the year, but by breaking them down in 4 quarters, I feel it's bite-sizes for my mind to digest.
A financial plan is just as important. Many people see their marketing plans but do not allocate a budget for such activities. No business goes into the year without first a financial budget. You should have one too. That way, you will know when to say No, or when to pump up. Just know that these are just something you plan out in the year, if you need to change it - that's okay too. That's why there are benefits in setting your goals/ plans into 4 quarters. Make changes when necessary. It's your business, you have the final say-so.
(5) Seeds of 2010
The only reason why this was a Member's Only post is because of this. It's something new that I am doing for 2010. I've always started planning, but never saw how to correctly implement my "seeds", ie my pipeline until I saw this in one of my brainstorming session.
First, I go through my entire email and database from people (this year) who had not accomplished their housing needs. I normally know when is their target date. Then, I list their names down and put a month as to when I expect them to get into escrow. I follow up with an email with them to see if their goal is still realistic. Make changes when necessary. From there, I will plan to see how often I need to contact them. I usually pencil these down and move them when it's not accomplished by the target date.
Note: These are leads who have contacted me. Not those who sign up on my website and are not ready to make contact with me.
At a glance, I see how my year (especially in 1st and 2nd Quarters) look like. My job is to get these seeds planted on my sheet. I believe they have called me to assist them, I will nudge them when necessary to get them back on track. It's a 2-way relationship process. My clients have asked me to hold them accountable to their plans, I will do so.
Download my version of my Seed Planning in Word format (31KB).
I hope you are able to take some of these tips for implementation. Please share some of your effective tips too.
This is also my Sunday God First Post. In Proverbs 21:5, it said, The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
I begin my week here on Active Rain with my God First posts, written every Sunday once a week. My promise to you is that the messages I share will be day-to-day related, often times related to real estate. If these topics are important to you also, I'd love for you to subscribe to my blog.
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Effective Time Management Skills for Highly Efficient Entrepreneurs
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